I want to move all my data(incl. software and settings) from one VPS to another. I'm currently using a remote Ubuntu server. How can I make a full system image back-up and restore it in a new Ubuntu VPS without having to install all softwares again. I have explored the following options

  1. I have ruled out Clonezilla has it cannot do online imaging and I cannot afford to shut down my system
  2. I can do a full system back-up using tar
tar cvpzf backup.tgz
    --exclude=/proc ---exclude=/lost+found --exclude=/backup.tgz --exclude=/mnt --exclude=/sys /

Will this copy all my Apache/MySql settings etc? Should I still install all software manually on the new VPS and then update the settings with this tar file? 3. I can also do rsync which I think does the same job as

tar # rsync -aAXv --exclude={"/dev/","/proc/","/sys/","/tmp/","/run/","/mnt/","/media/*","/lost+found"}

/* /path/to/backup/folder

4. I'm exploring LVM to make a snapshot

My ultimate aim: Move all data and software from one VPS to another with minimum manual installation and re-configuration. How can I go about this?

1 Answer 1


If you create backup using tar, it will be enough to copy all your files, however the problem will arise when you try to extract that archive into a live system. Some binaries or libraries may not update because they will be in use by the system, and you will end up in a mess.

You should get some support from your hosting provider (for the new VPS). Usually they have some features for that case, for instance my hosting provider allows me to switch my VPS to "repair mode", in that mode new VPS is created with basic Linux software, and my VPS's disk is mounted there, allowing me to change it however I want and then leave repair mode. Or maybe you can just send your tar archive to the support team, asking them to extract it to your VPS when it's offline.

  • Thanks! Unfortunately I cannot do that. I'm not using any commercial service provider. Do you have any other suggestions?
    – am3
    Jun 12, 2015 at 17:36

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .